1. What is a “Family Partner”?
Partnership is a key component of the Habitat for Humanity model. Habitat provides a hand up, not a , a handout„ meaning that we are in active partnership with our Habitat homeowners. We affectionately apply the term “Family Partner” to applicants that have met all prerequisites required to be considered for Habitat-NYC homeownership.
2. What is the process for becoming a Habitat-NYC homeowner?
Applicants must complete the following to become a Habitat- NYC Family Partner:
· Complete Homeownership Application
· Provide all required documentation and attachments
· Meet income and credit guidelines
· Be a first time Homebuyer
· Attend Panel Interview (all members of the applicants household)
· Attend Family Partner Orientation
· Attend a 1-on-1 meeting
· Provide $2,500 down payment and begin monthly savings program (minimum $200/month requirement)
· Complete 200 hours of sweat equity per adult (up to 400 hours total)
3. How long is the process?
The process, from start (application) to finish (keys to your new home), may take up to 18 months.
4. How are Family Partners selected?
Family Partners are selected based on income, credit, need and willingness to partner (i.e. sweat equity).
5. How much does a HabitatNYC home cost?
The cost of a Habitat-NYC home is tied to a family’s income. Habitat-NYC families will pay no more than 33% of their income in monthly housing costs.
6. Are there income requirements?
Applicants must earn between 50 – 80% of the Area Aedian Income (see chart).
7. Does my credit have to be perfect?
No; however, applicants must have a credit score of at least 620.
8. What is “Sweat Equity”?
“Sweat equity” is Habitat’s name for the labor that Habitat homeowners contribute to building their houses and the houses of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own -financial and home management courses. Homeowners do sweat equity after they are selected to be Habitat partners, but before they complete and move into their new houses. Sweat equity is a keystone of the Habitat program: important to partner families, attractive to donors, adopted by many other housing organizations and goes to the heart of our partnership approach.
9. Who is considered a “First Time Homebuyer”?
Habitat-NYC uses the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) definition of First Time Homebuyer, which is an individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the last 3-years.
10. Where are Habitat-NYC homes?
Habitat-NYC builds throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City; however, Habitat’s currently focus is in the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ocean Hill-Brownsville until 2013,
11. What types of home does Habitat-NYC develop?
Habitat-NYC currently builds primarily 2-3 bedroom co-op’s and condominiums.
12. What is SONYMA?
State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) is a state agency that provides low-interest mortgages to low- and moderate-income homebuyers.
13. Does Habitat-NYC conduct criminal and/or sex offender checks?
Habitat-NYC complies with all federal state and local Fair Housing Laws. All adult residents of applicant household s(18 and above) are checked against the National Sex Offender Public website.
14. What if I already am pre-approved for a lender you don’t use?
In order to maintain affordabilityHumanity-NYC uses SONYMA-insured loans. If your preapproved lender is not SONYMA-approved it cannot be used. The SONYMA insured loan is a minimum of 1% down and a 2% fixed-rate for 30 years. This is a key way we ensure long-term affordability.
15. What if I want to move to a different Habitat home?
You are buying a home. We do not transfer owners between development projects. If you do decide to move, you can sell your home based on the requirements set forth in your offering plan.
16. Is there a maintenance fee?
Yes. You will be buying a condominium or cooperative, and you will be required to pay monthly maintenance fees.
17. What will I pay for my mortgage?
The term of your mortgage will be 30 years, with a 2% fixed interest rate. Your total monthly mortgage payment and maintenance charges will not exceed 33% of your monthly gross income.